« PreviousContinue »
hang perpendicular; all these enumerations they the Soncinates, being printed by Jews of a family, made, and took the number of each. Such was which came originally from Germany, and estatheir serupulosity, that though it might have been blished themselves at Soncino, a town in Lomplain that one letter was put for another, or that a bardy, between Cremona and Brescia. They were word was pushed out of its place, still they would the first Hebrew printers.t not vary the text, but indicated these changes by 4. We need only mention another edition, a particular mark, supposing that some mystery namely, that published by Daniel Bomberg, in had occasioned the alteration. They distinguished 1525, at Venice. This edition, the Brescia edition the degrees of certainty which they attributed to of 1494, and the Complutensian edition of 1517, their critical corrections or insinuations by three form the basis of almost all subsequent editions. Fords: KERI, read ;-CHETIB, write ;-and SBHIR, III. But whatever variations may be found in ajdure.*
the text of these and subsequent early editions of 4. Such critics, it will be admitted by all the Hebrew Scriptures, it must not be supposed candid persons, were not likely capriciously or that they resulted from any deviation on the wilfully to alter the text; and their numerous and part of the respective editors from the MSS. minute rules rendered it almost impossible that they employed. Christians, as well as the Jews, they should do so by accident, at least in any confided most implicitly in the immaculate purity thing very material.
of the text; to have questioned which would II. But we are not more at a loss to discover have been regarded as an act of the utmost tethe method pursued in the revision of the Hebrew merity, if not of impiety. Hence it is not to be MSS. by the critics of whom we have just spoken, wondered at, that Buxtorf, who published his than we are to ascertain the rules adopted by Tiberias, or an exposition and defence of the the early editors of the printed editions. The Masoretic doctrines, in 1620, should confirm the particular MSS. which they used, the way in affirmation of Elias Levita, by saying of the which they employed their materials, the degree Hebrew MSS., Omnium librorum, qui vel in of authority they yielded to preceding editions, Asiâ, vel in Africâ, vel in Europá sunt, sine ullâ and other matters of a similar description, are all discrepantiâ, consonans harmonia cernitur. It so berond our power to learn ; for on these points happened, however, that in the early part of the they have maintained a complete silence. We seventeenth century, the Samaritan copy of the Ilust, therefore, be contented with a brief sketch Pentateuch, the existence of which was well of the principal editions, and then pass on to known to some of the early Christian writers, Dotice the process by which our present critical but which had been lost sight of for upwards of a apparatus has been formed.
thousand years, was again brought to light; and 1. The first printed edition of the entire Hebrew its numerous variations from the Masoretic text Bible was that executed at Soncino, in 1488, suggested the idea of a diversity of readings in under the editorial care of Abraham ben Chayim. the Hebrew MSS. The examination of copies The critical value of this editio princeps is very which was hence induced, issued in the detection great, but there are only nine copies of it known of actual and numerous mistakes, and thus preto be in existence : the Bodleian library, and that pared the way for that corrected and purer text of Exeter College, Oxford, possess the only two which we now possess. copies in England. The variations between this 1. The first person who boldly and determiedition and that of Van der Hooght are stated by nately impeached the purity of the Hebrew text Kennicott to amount to some thousands, though was the learned Morinus, a Roman Catholic Done of them are of any great moment.
priest, of the Oratory at Paris, who first pub2. This was followed, in 1494, by an edition at lished his Exercitationes Ecclesiasticæ et Biblicæ, in Brescia, edited by Gerson, son of Rabbi Moses, 1633. In 1650, he was followed by the erudite which deserves special attention, from having Capellus, in the same country, and in 1658, by been used by Luther for his German translation, our own celebrated and justly venerated countryand also from having formed the basis of several man, Bishop Walton. The Critica Sacra of Casubsequent editions, of which may be noticed that in the Complutensian Polyglott.
3. These two editions, with a third, printed in + Butler's lioræ Biblicæ, p. 77. 1517, without the name of any place, are called # This bad, indeed, been affirmed by Elias Hutter, iv the
preface to his edition of the Hebrew Bible, published at the
latter end of the sixteenth century; but his statements do not * See Levis Origines Hebrææ, vol. iv., p. 156. Calmet's appear to bave produced any effect, since Buxtorf does not Dirtonary, vol ü., p. 122, 5th edit.; and Butler's Horæ Bib- mention them in his Tiberias, which was published about thirty Lz. p. 40.
pellus should not be passed over without notice. ment as to the criterion by which the purity of This elaborate production, the work of thirty-six the Hebrew text was to be determined. “He years of the industrious author's life, Capellus considered the ancient Versions, when applied could not get printed in the Protestant States; but under proper restrictions, as one source of critical at length, through the influence of Morinus and authority in ascertaining the purity of disputed other Catholics, it was printed, by royal license, passages : but he did not consider with Morinus at Paris, under the care of his son. The integrity that a deviation of the Hebrew from the Septuaor purity of the Hebrew text was here assailed at gint, or from the Vulgate, was a reason for great length, and with nearly as much success as posing, that in such places the Hebrew was inhe had formerly evinced in attacking the divine correct. In short, his principles of criticism were origin of the points. He contended that verbal such as the best judges have applied to ancient mistakes had crept into the Hebrew Scriptures, authors in general. Where Capellus failed, he as into all ancient authors; that the printed edi- failed in the application of his principles.” + tions were not always correct, and did not always 3. The attention of the learned world having agree with each other; and that the ancient Ver- been thus excited to the subject, it was soon detersions might be properly employed as one means of mined that the only satisfactory mode of proceedcorrecting the text. In six books, he established ing, was by a collation of MSS. and ancient the existence of various readings. (I.) From the Versions. This was accordingly undertaken by juxta-position of different parts of the Old Tes- competent persons; and the result of their labours tament. (II.) From a collation of the parallel was given to the world in the successive editions passages of the Old and New Testaments. (III.) of Athias, Jablonski, Van der Hooght, Michaelis, From collations of the Masora, the Samaritan, and and Houbigant. It was reserved for the indethe most ancient printed editions of the Scriptures. fatigable Kennicott, however, to institute an (IV.) From a collation of the Septuagint with extensive collation of MSS., and to produce the the Hebrew text. (V.) From a comparison of first critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, upon a the Hebrew text with the Chaldee paraphrase, the magnificent scale. During the thirty years in Greek Versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theo- which he and his coadjutors were employed in dotion, the Latin Vulgate, and the rabbinical this work, under the patronage of the learned and commentators. In Book VI. he treats of the errors wealthy in all parts of Europe, upwards of six of transcribers, and of conjectural emendations hundred Hebrew MSS., and sixteen copies of the text.
of the Samaritan Pentateuch, were either wholly 2. The labours of these critics having destroyed or partially collated. Nor was this the full extent the confidence which had been hitherto reposed of his labours. Ardently desirous of giving conin the integrity* of the Hebrew text, originated sistency and permanency to the text, this indusan inquiry respecting the means for ascertaining trious scholar added to the collation of MSS. a the extent to which it had suffered, and the collation of the most valuable printed editions, sources whence materials were to be obtained for and an examination of the quotations from the restoring its purity. It seems not to have occurred Hebrew Bible which were found in the works of to these learned men, however, that a collation the Jewish literati. The first volume of Kennicott's of MSS. would furnish the most satisfactory Bible was published in the year 1776, and was folevidence of the actual state of the text, as well as lowed by the second volume in 1780. the materials for its improvement.
4. “That the mass of various readings exhibited standards by which Morinus had thought of mea- in this edition, which greatly exceed in number suring it, were the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the the various readings collected by the industry of Septuagint or ancient Greek Version : wherever it three centuries for the Greek Testament, contains differed from these, he concluded that its verity but few of real importance, is no subject of re- & was impaired. Nor was the critical apparatus of proach to the learned editor,” says Bishop Marsh, Capellus much more extensive, as is evident from “ who could only produce what his authorities the account just given of his work ; although he afforded. Nor is he to be censured for giving all avoided many of the errors into which his prede- that he had, without regard to their relative value. cessor had fallen, by exercising a sounder judg- His was the first attempt ever made, to give a
copious collection of Hebrew readings; and he
could hardly have been justified, if he had exer*The test of an ancient author may be said to have precised his own discretion in regard to the portion served its integrily, if it is upon the whole in such a state as when it left his hands. Here, however, the term is used in a which should be laid before the public. He higher sense, as denoting its purity, or freedom from all
+ Bishop Marsh's Lectures, p. 210.
wisely, therefore, afforded the opportunity to his , dition from the sacred writers, are in fact nothing readers of selecting for themselves: and though more than various readings of the Hebrew text. bis extracts are rarely of much value for the pur-Out of a thousand of them, as printed by Van pose of critical emendation, they enable us, both der Hooght, there were but fourteen not found in to form an estimate of the existing Hebrew MSS., the text of some one of the MSS. examined by and to draw some important conclusions in regard Kennicott. to the integrity of the Hebrew text.”
IV. Such is the history of the Hebrew text; from 5. The major part of this immense collection of which the progress hitherto made in its criticism readings consists in mere variations of ortho- may in some measure be gathered. The necessity graphy, in the fulness or defectiveness of certain for this review may not at present be apparent ; words, in the addition or subtraction of a mater but, as sacred criticism has for its object an aggrelectrimis, * of a cau, or a yod. And if we further gate of literary labours, undertaken at different deduct the readings, which are either manifest periods, and for different purposes; and as its errata, or in other respects are of no value, the principles are general conclusions deduced from important deviations will be confined within a very these literary labours, it will ultimately be seen, narrow compass. In short, Dr. Kennicott's col- that the reason or foundation of those laws cannot lation has contributed to establish the credit of be comprehended, without a previous knowledge the Masora. We learn from it this useful lesson, of the nature and amount of these labours. By that although a multiplication of written copies such a review of the several stages through which will, notwithstanding all human endeavours, pro- the criticism of the Bible has passed, we discover duce variations in the text, the MSS. of the He- not only the means by which it has acquired its brew Bible have been so far protected by the present form, but also the propriety of those rules speration of the Masora, that all which are now which the critics have laid down for directing and Pitant, both the oldest and the newest, might regulating their operations. I be compared with those MSS. of the Greek V. This section may close with a brief notice of Testament which Griesbach refers to the same those celebrated copies of the Ilebrew Scriptures edition.t
which have been adopted by the Jews, as exem6. A few years after the publication of Dr. plars of all subsequent copies. Kennicott's Bible, De Rossi, the Hebrew pro- 1. The copy of Hillel, who is thought to have fessor at Parma, and the friend and fellow-labourer lived about the year A. D. 1000, was preserved at of Kennicott, added considerably to the collections Toledo, in Spain, where Kimchi, who lived in the previously made, by publishing the various read- twelfth century, states that he saw it. Rabbi ings of seven hundred and thirty-one MSS., Zacuti, who lived near the close of the fifteenth and three hundred and ten editions, some of century, says that part of it had been sent into which were unknown, and others but little known. Africa. The whole number of MSS. collated on this 2. The copy of AARON BEN ASHER, one of the occasion, therefore, amounted to thirteen hundred doctors of the celebrated academy at Tiberias, and forty-six; and of editions, to three hundred about the middle of the eleventh century, was and fifty-two; making a total of sixteen hundred preserved for many years at Jerusalem as a stanand ninety-eight ; containing several hundred dard copy; and Maimonides, who made his own thousand various readings. And yet not one doc- copy of the law from it, assures us that it was trine or precept of revelation is affected by them. universally appealed to. From this exemplar all
7. There is one circumstance connected with the MSS. of the western Jews, as well as all the this undertaking worthy of note; namely, the printed copies of the Hebrew Bible, are almost proof thereby afforded, that the marginal words wholly derived. of the Masora, printed opposite to the text in 3. The copy of JACOB BEN NAPHTALI, who was the rabbinical Bibles, and hitherto regarded as president of the other famous Jewish academy at Taterials of interpretation, transmitted by oral tra- Babylon, and contemporary with Ben Asher, was
adopted by the oriental Jews.
4. The Codices of JERICHO and Sinai, and The letters (*) aleph, (1) rau, and () yod, are called ma- one called SANBOUKI, are highly commended for Ires lectionis, because employed to assist the reader of an printed MS. how to pronounce the words in which those letters are contained, leing considered chiefly as props to lanse points by which they are usually accompanied. Where ks. are pointed, they are sometimes inserted, sometimes catted, at the discretion of the writer.
Should the reader desire to see more on the propriety of
this mode of treating the subject, he may consult Bishop + Bishop Marsh's Lectares, pp. 221, 222.
Marsh's first lecture on the Criticism of the Bible.
EARLY VERSIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
5. The Codex MALABARICUS, obtained by the Samaritan copy of the law of Moses. In the late Dr. Buchanan from the black Jews in Mala- year 1616, Petrus à Valle bought of the Samabar, whence it takes its name, though forming a ritans at Damascus, a complete copy,
which was distinct class, should not be passed by without sent in 1623, hy A. H. de Sancy, to the library notice. It is evident, as Bishop Marsh has sug- of the Oratory at Paris.
J. Morinus briefly gested, that the copies of the Pentateuch preserved described this copy, not long afterwards, in the in India must have descended from the autograph preface to his edition of the Septuagint, A. D. of Moses through very different channels to those 1628. Soon after this, he published his “ Exerin the west of Europe, and therefore the close citationes Ecclesiasticæ in utrumque Samaritanagreement of the one with the other (the Indian orum Pentateuchum;" in which he extols very copy presenting only four peculiar readings) is a highly the text of the Samaritan Pentateuch, preproof that they have preserved the original text ferring it above the common Hebrew text. About in great purity. Whether this copy was formed the same time, from the copy purchased by à from the Masoretic text, is by no means certain; Valle, Morinus printed the Samaritan text of the for although it was probably written much later Paris Polyglott; and from this, Walton printed than the period when the Masorites finished their the Samaritan text in the London Polyglott, with labours, it is probable that their influence never very few corrections. reached the mountainous district in the south of 3. In the mean time, between the
and 1630, Archbishop Usher, so distinguished for
his zeal in sacred literature, as well as for the SECTION III.
knowledge of it which he himself acquired, had succeeded, by persevering efforts, in obtaining six
additional copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch The Samaritan Pentateuch—The Septuagint-Greek Versions from the East, some of which were complete, and of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus - Labours of
Five of these are still in Origen-Value of the Septuagint to an Interpreter-Relationship between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX. England, deposited in different libraries; one, --Early Revision of the Hebrew Text-Value of Various which the archbishop presented to Ludovicus de Readings.
Dieu, appears to have been lost. I. Mention has been made, in the preceding 4. In 1621 another copy was sent to Italy, which section, of the SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH, in refer- is now in the Ambrosian library at Milan. About ence to the influence it has had on the criticism the same time, Peirese procured three copies; two of the Hebrew Scriptures; but before we proceed of which are in the royal library at Paris, and one to notice the criticism of the Greek Testament, in that of Barberini at Rome. some further account of this venerable work, and 5. To these copies others have since been added; also of the SEPTUAGINT Version, is called for. so that Kennicott, as we have already stated, was
1. The existence of the PENTATEUCH, or five able to extend the comparison of Samaritan MSS., Books of Moses, written in the peculiar alpha- for his critical collection of various readings, to betic character employed by the Samaritans,+ was the number of sixteen : most of them, however, known in very ancient times to such of the were more or less defective, in regard to parts of Christian Fathers as were acquainted with the the Pentateuch. Hebrew language. Origen, in his commentary 6. The external appearance of these MSS. on Numb. xii. 1, and xxi. 13, distinctly speaks agrecs, in some respects, with that of the synaof it; as does Jerome, in his prologue to the gogue rolls of the Jews; but in many others it Book of Kings, and in other places.
differs. All the Samaritan copies in Europe are 2. These, with one or two similar references in the form of books, either folio, quarto, or still in Origen, constitute the evidence we have, that smaller ; although the Samaritans in their synathe Samaritan Pentateuch was known in very gogues make use of rolls, as the Jews do also. ancient times to such of the Fathers as devoted The letters in the Samaritan copies are simple, themselves to the critical study of the Hebrew exhibiting nothing like the literæ, majuscule, Scriptures. From the time of Jerome down to minusculæ, intersæ, suspensæ, &c., of the Hebrews. the first quarter of the seventeenth century, how- They are entirely destitute of vowel points, acever, no traces appear, in the history of criticism cents, or diacritical signs, such as are found in and sacred literature, of the existence of the Hebrew and Chaldee. Each word is separated
from the one which follows it, by a point placed * See Yeats's Collation, p. 40.
between them; parts of sentences are distin+ For some account of these people
, see Part III., chap. guished by two points; and periods and para3, sect. I.
graphs by short lines, or lines and points.
7. The following is a fac-simile of the first line the six copies belonging to Archbishop Usher, and of the MS. preserved in the British Museum by him presented to Sir Robert Cotton :(Bibl. Cotton. Claudius, B. 8.), which was one of
Sag'n you go
NA may requid Vous It is a small folio in size, and consists of two the Seventy, Morinus maintained that the authority hundred and fifty-four pages, written on vellum. of the Samaritan, particularly when supported by It has fortunately escaped injury by the fire which the Septuagint, was paramount to that of the damaged and destroyed so many valuable articles Jewish text. Ile laboured, moreover, to show in the Cottonian library, in 1731, and is in an that, in a multitude of passages, which in that excellent state of preservation.
text, as it now stands, are obscure and difficult, 8. The MSS. differ, however, in some un- or unharmonious, the Samaritan offers the better important particulars. Words of doubtful con- reading; that the Jews have corrupted their struction are sometimes marked by a small line Scriptures by negligence, or ignorance, or superover one of the letters. The margin is empty, stition ; and that the safe and only way to purify unless, as is sometimes the case, the Samaritan them, is to correct them from the Samaritan, in or Arabic Version is placed by the side of the connexion with the Septuagint. original text. The whole Pentateuch, like the 12. The signal was now given for the great Jewish copy, is divided into paragraphs, which contest which ensued. Capellus, in his “ Critica they call Ratzin. But while the Jews make only Sacra,” followed in the steps of Morinus; but De fifty-two or fifty-four divisions (one to be read Muis, Hottinger, Stephen Morinus, Buxtorf, on each sabbath in the year), the Samaritans make Fuller, Leusden, and A. Pfeiffer, each, in separate nine hundred and sixty-six.
works published within the seventeenth century, 9. The age of some of the Samaritan copies is attacked the positions of Morinus and Capellus. determined by the date, which accompanies the Their principal aim was to overthrow these posiname of the copyist; in others it is not found. Ken- tions, rather than to examine the subject before nicott has endeavoured to ascertain the date of all them in a critical and thorough manner. the Samaritan MSS. which he compared. But he 13. Much less like disputants, and more like resorts to conjecture in order to effect this; con- impartial critics, did Father Simon, Walton, and jecture supported by no well-grounded rules of Le Clerc, conduct themselves, relative to the judging. The Codex Oratorii, used by Morinus, question about the value and authority of the he supposes to have been copied in the eleventh Samaritan Pentateuch. In particular, Simon has century; while all the others, except one, are thrown out suggestions which imply, for substance, conceded to be of more recent origin. One he the same opinions, on many controverted points, assigns to the eighth century. The reasoning of that the latest and best critics, after all the disKennicott and De Rossi, about the age of He-cussion that has taken place, have adopted. brew and Samaritan MSS., rests, however, on very 14. But during the latter part of the last cenuncertain grounds.
tury, when the fierceness of the controversy 10. The materials on which the Samaritan MSS. seemed to have abated, Houbigant, treading in are written, are either parchment or silk paper. the steps of J. Morinus, renewed it in the ProOrdinary paper has been used, in recent times, legomena to his Bible. With him other controonly to supply some of the defects in them. vertists united. Kennicott, in various works,
11. The Christian world, before Morinus pub- A. S. Aquilino, Lobstein, and Alexander Geddes, lished his famous “Exercitationes Ecclesiasticæ have all, contended for the equal or superior in utrumque Samaritanorum Pentateuchum” | authority of the Samaritan Codex. Houbigant (1631), had been accustomed, as we have seen, was answered, in a masterly way by S. Ravius, to resort only to the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures, in his “Exercitationes Philologicæ, 1761, and as exhibiting the well authenticated and esta- recently, Michaëlis, Eichhorn, Bertholdt, Bauer, Fished text of the Mosaic lạw. But the publi- and Jahn, have discussed the subject with a good cation of Morinus soon excited a controversy, degree of moderation and acuteness. They have which, even at the present time, has not wholly all inclined to attach considerable value to many aubsided. As the Samaritan copy of the law, in of the Samaritan readings; although most of a multitude of places, agrees with the Version of them consider the Samaritan Pentateuch, on